Hammer? Hammer? Whose Got The Hammer?
Thor: Ragnarok Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins
Director: Taika Waititi
Scriptwriters: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyla and Christopher Yost
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematographer: Javier Aguirresarobe
Rating: PG 13 for comic violence and themed material
Running Length: 130 Minutes
Thor, Marvel Comics character, has a sense of humor in his third film. Yes, Chris Hemsworth---he of the muscles---can crack a joke with a straight face with the best of them. Who knew? Now, we do. Thor jokes with the rest of the comic characters such as Loki (Tom Hiddleston looking reed thin), The Hulk (a sarcastic Mark Ruffalo), Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum in sapphire blue), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson and always with a bottle in her hand), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch in levity), a somber Asgard king (Anthony Hopkins) and, lest we forget---the villain(ess), Hela, grandly and grandly played by Cate Blanchett complete with black attire, smirking and a headdress that would put an elk to shame. Hela is Thor and Loki’s long-lost sister, and we can see why.
The basic premise is that Thor is searching for some powerful stones, which are kept by a fire demon (voiced by director Taiki Waitii, who then does the rock man, Korg). After this escape, Thor meets up with Loki, who changes appearance in the bat of an eye. Then, it is off to speak to the late Asgard King (in a peaceful place in Norway), ending up on a planet that operates a gladiator system of justice, run by the Grandmaster. This is where Thor meets Korg, a rock man, with a gentle voice. Thor thinks this whole thing is fun as he finds his opponent is “The Hulk,” who has a voice, intelligence and an attitude. Somewhere along here, Hela comes along and it is escape after escape, with the help of Valkyrie (tough as nails), Loki and Thor fighting each other (again), and the Hulk actually becoming somewhat of the star of the film. The writers have given Hulk/Bruce Banner things to complain about, not enough notoriety, and an ego to match his green size. All of this is in fun, of course, but it does cost someone something---Thor loses an eye and his hammer. Remember Kirk Russell and his character, Snake Plissken, from “Escape from New York?” The eye patch didn't hurt his popularity, at all, and hammers are a dime a dozen.
Special effects are very good, and the pratfalls and chases scenes contain both humor and chaos. In fact, this film is chaotic, as characters and situations come at the audience a mile-a-minute. The best parts are Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, talking to himself complaining of no recognition, and then the green Hulk going into action. Cate Blanchett as Hela, plays it to the hilt and really is unrecognizable in her black garb. She wants power, power and more power, but first, you have to listen to her speeches. Villains always have to explain everything. Oh, and who plays Hela’s henchman, Skurge?*
Fans won't be disappointed in “Thor: Ragnorak” which literally means a new place. Thor’s adventures will continue in future films, and in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.” Enjoy.
Copyright 2017 Marie Asner
*Karl Urban from “Star Wars” movies